Challenging, but Unforgettable and Past Review

By (Carthage College) - abroad from 01/09/2016 to 05/08/2016 with

France Study Abroad Reflections: Comprehensive Reviews of Past Programs

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned that you can make a "home away from home." You have a chance to make lasting relationships abroad with locals while improving your language skills at the same time.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The host family aspect really helped with the full immersion experience.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

AUCP required us to get involved in community service, have an extracurricular activity, and have a language partner. All of these aspects really helped us integrate into the local culture along with our host family stay.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I felt very safe in Aix and AUCP went over safety precautions at the start of the program.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

I really thought the host family aspect was important and the requirements of joining an extracurricular group was key for me. I was able to not only improve my language skills with the people I met, but also open myself up more to the new culture I was experiencing outside of the classroom setting.


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

I found that overall Aix was an expensive city, but I think it was possible to save money depending on where you chose to eat out and what activities you chose to spend your money on.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

AUCP requires students to sign a contract at the beginning of the semester saying that we will speak French the whole time. I felt the program did enforce this contract throughout the whole semester. Living with a host family really enforced the language use as well.

Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Speak the language as much as you can with your host family and with any friends (locals) that you make while abroad and ask them to correct you.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Extracurricular activity aspect
  • Professors
  • Host family relationship
* What could be improved?
  • Some aspects of administration
  • Course options
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? It takes time to get adjusted to a whole new lifestyle, but you will adjust! Don't worry so much, just enjoy and take in the new experience and culture because the semester abroad goes by very fast.